Consumers to gain from UK grocery competition
In the UK, the latest TNS Worldpanel grocery market share figures reveal a continuation in the pattern of Sainsbury's and Asda showing higher percentage growth rates than Tesco, with consumers standing to benefit significantly from healthy competition in the sector.
Because of its size, the actual cash growth (that is, the amount of money taken at the main checkouts) for Tesco continues to dominate all other retailers, but this emerging trend is evidence that there is healthy competition operating in the UK grocery market, according to Edward Garner, director of research for TNS Worldpanel.
Top fourTesco 31.6% Asda 16.6% Sainsbury 16.2% Morrisons 11.2%The current market shares stand as follows:· Tesco: 31.6%;· Asda: 16.6%;· Sainsbury's: 16.2%;· Morrisons/Safeway: 11.2%;· Waitrose: 3.9%;· Somerfield: 3.8%;· Aldi: 2.6%;· Lidl: 2.2%;· Iceland: 1.6%.
But, Garner says, it is also worth noting that the independent grocery sector may also be finding its niche after decades of pressure from the multiples. Their share is stable, and a growth rate of 8% (the highest seen in recent years) is well ahead of the market average.
Ongoing stability Morrisons continues to be stable with the 14th successive period of year-on-year growth, although Garner warns that this needs to strengthen before the company is likely to see share increases comparable to the other retailers in the top four.
Elsewhere, as Kwik Save awaits an administration hearing, its share has dropped in the wake of the closure of 82 of its stores. According to Garner, "The Kwik Save share decline is now dropping out of the year-on-year comparisons and this will make growth harder to find for competing retailers in the latter part of the year."
Consumer spending to decrease? Recent speculation of a slow-down in consumer spending on groceries across the board is yet to be reflected in the supermarket share figures, which relate to the past three months of trading.
However, market shifts should be watched closely to assess whether these reports are simply based on a seasonal glitch or a more serious long term change in consumer spending habits.